Saxon Switzerland: Trekking Summer

Tour name: Valdek to Schmilka
Degree of difficulty: Easy mountain paths
Tour length: 36 km
Total elevation: 610 m ascent and 900 m descent
Alignment: West
Highest point:  522 m
GPS: route and track as GPX

Finally, it is time – we are on a hiking trip again. Let’s take our backpacks and make sure the GPS has the right information.

This time we are in Czech Valdek, it’s a small village close to Rumburk. From here we are going to start our 5-day trip through the Bohemian- and Saxon Switzerland. We take the train to get to Valdek because it’s simple and (exceptionally from the noisy football fans) relaxing. I was sleeping the whole time and full of excitement for the coming days.

Tip: You can also get the full ticket to Valdek in Germany.
So don’t worry if you can’t speak Czech.

After we arrived we started our trip in a perfectly good mood. The trail is easy to find and the landscape amazing after just a few steps. Because it’s already noon we will not walk too far. But because after just 10 min of walking the sun breaks through the clouds and turns the forest into a fairytale forest. So we have to take a break to take some pictures and enjoying the moment.

  • repacking after a break
  • me and my backpack

The trail brings us out of the little forest along bare fields and numerous streams. No one else but us and one man with a horse cart, which brought wood from the forest. Towards evening we are passing a small village. Close by we find a fireplace and some benches. So we decide to stay here for the night. Christian is building the tent and Jarno will sleep in his hammock.

We are starting cooking spaghetti and slowly it starts getting darker and colder. The ground starts freezing a bit. But then the mood rises as a huge orange disc in the sky. We can see so many stars and there is no cloud. It’s easy to forget the temperature in such a beautiful moment.

Okay, okay, not quite… I was still freezing but the moment was amazing.

After endless pictures, we finally crawl into our sleeping bags. In the valley, we are hearing barking dogs. (Must be because of the moon.)

The next morning it starts to drizzle… and it will not stop for the whole day. But the mood is still up. I have to think the whole day on a saying from my grandma. “There is no bad weather, there are just wrong clothes.” What a smart woman!
It’s time to take the rain jacket and the rain cover out of the backpack.

trekking in the forrest
trekking in the forest ©Jarno Hein

After a short breakfast, we are on the road again.
The brings us deeper and deeper into the forest. Large pines are growing into the sky. Huges rocks from sandstone towering out of the forest floor. It smells like wet pine needles and moss.
After a few hours, we get to the ruins of an old castle close to the town Zeidler. The Czech name of that castle is „Brtnický hrádek“ – quite hard to pronounce! It’s one of few castles build into the rock in this area. They are all built in the 14th century by the Berks of Duba, a major aristocracy in Bohemia. And as we learned soon at the end of the 14. century they were lost because of the growing demands of the Wettin.
Today you can’t see too much from that time period just some rocky stairs and basic shapes of the castle. But enough to imagine the time. While I was dreaming of another time, the boys had their lunch.
From here we went down into the Kirnitzsch valley. The name comes from the little creek Kirnitzsch. Since the Middle Ages, they used this creek for timber floating.
Today tourists can take a boat to learn more about the time or just enjoying the nature and the views.
We decided to take the trail along the creek. Light fog spreads out and fills the narrow ravine into mysterious white.
Now we are back in Germany again and the landscape is getting flatter and wider.
On the third day, the rain finally stops. We are passing the Raven rocks… We feel sad for not bringing the climbing equipment.

On the next day, we start early because we want to be to the Ida Grotto. What an amazing place to be to start the day! The first sunbeams are looking over the horizon. The view of the valley is incredible.
At about 8 am we getting company of two park rangers. They show us a hidden nest of the Falcons at the rock next to us.
After the breakfast, we are continuing the trail but we are not getting far… I feel weak! My stomach is busy with something and I don’t know if I can continue. We decide to skip the rest of the trip. Luckily we are close to Schmilka, a village where we can take the train back home.
On the same day, all three of us become sick out of nothing and we still don’t know what was the reason (virus or bread).

elevation profile from Valdek to Schmirka
elevation profile from Valdek to Schmirka

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